Athens, March 26, 2021
The World Rally Championship returns to Greece
The return of the Acropolis Rally in the calendar of the pinnacle of Rallying is now a given fact: It will take place in September.
The historic event, which from its early years, back in the ‘50s, rightfully won a place in the international motorsport scene, returns to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time in eight years, having secured a slot in the calendar both for 2021 and 2022.
The new chapter in the history of the Acropolis Rally will be written on September 9-12, 2021. This development seals multi-month actions under the auspices of the Prime Minister, coordinated by the Deputy Minister of Sports, Lefteris Avgenakis, who aimed to the return of the country to international sporting events, ever since he took office. Since last spring, Greece has managed to open a dialog with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the WRC Promoter, thanks -among others- to the proven proper management of the pandemic, something that was positively commented by all international media. However, the thing that played a more decisive role was the support of the Government, which, evaluating the historical significance of the event, it’s contribution to the positive promotion of the country abroad and also, it’s economic impact, signed a memorandum of cooperation with the WRC Promoter, in December 2020.
An Organizing Committee has already been set up for the organization of the Acropolis Rally, which consists of important personalities from the Automotive and Racing field, already working on its design and implementation. Details, such as the city that will host the event, will be announced in the near future. The 2021 Acropolis Rally will be the 10th round of the WRC, replacing Rally Chile, which was considered doubtful due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic in the South American country.
All lights of the world of motorsport -and not only - will once again turn to Greece, that declares ready for the great challenge ahead!
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic
«Seventy years ago, the Acropolis was the backdrop for a great rally, which was later established as the “Rally of Gods”. An epic rally, that has always had the participating crews facing unique conditions. After eight years of absence, the Acropolis Rally returns, and in the midst of a time that Greece is finding its way again. During the last decade, we found ourselves on our very own “special stage”, which contained many twists and turns. Greece is now charting its future by making significant leaps in terms of research, technology and sustainability. We are proud to be able to host internationally renowned events again, such as the World Rally Championship».
Lefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister of Sports
«We are delighted to be able to fulfil our promise to the Greek people and the hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans worldwide. The lights of the international motorsport and sport in general, are turning to Greece again. In the reborn and shining bright Greece! The return of the Acropolis Rally to the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, is a fact. From today, we begin the organization of the best rally of the championship. The Acropolis Rally, written in golden letters in the history of motorsport. Greece is ready to welcome you! Present, extroverted and a protagonist in every aspect».
Jean Todt, FIA president
«Acropolis Rally needs no introduction. It’s a legendary event, where motorsport and technology meet history, in the “Land of the Gods”. This rally is known for some of the world’s roughest stages and I have such special memories of it, having competed there as a co-driver on five occasions between 1970 and 1981, and winning it as team principal of Peugeot in 1985 and 1986. It’s a pleasure to see the Acropolis return at the highest level thanks to the support of the Greek authorities, along with the strong commitment of the organizers».
Jona Siebel, WRC Promoter CEO
«The Acropolis Rally holds an illustrious chapter in WRC history and we appreciate the Greek government’s huge commitment in restoring it to world rallying’s top table. Welcome back! We are sure that even if it is a modern Acropolis Rally, this event with such a great heritage, will make the competitors once again face the toughest of the conditions».